Resistance, Mastery, Agency: Improvising with the Feedback-Actuated Augmented Bass

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Abstract

In this article I describe the development of a performance practice with a new electroacoustic instrument—the FAAB (Feedback-Actuated Augmented Bass). Drawing on a background in improvisation, I discuss how the feedback-induced behavior of the instrument sets it apart from an acoustic bass and how the implementation of operationally closed DSP algorithms facilitates greater systemic autonomy. In identifying resistance as a key feature of improvisation, I propose the term diachronic mastery as a way of addressing the equilibration of sensorimotor schemes in the context of developing a performance practice with a complex hybrid system such as the FAAB. Through a discussion of the term agency as it appears in recent literature, I develop a preliminary framework for addressing both the immediate experience of agency emerging in performance ecosystems as well as a biologically informed definition of the term that may be useful in the design of increasingly autonomous instruments and performance systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganised Sound
Publication statusAccepted - 16 Feb 2021

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